The Meet The Press climate change debate wasn’t much of a debate at all as The Science Guy Bill Nye called out Republican congresswoman Marsha Blackburn’s talking points, and pummeled her with science and facts.
Rep. Blackburn followed the Koch and energy industry talking points of introducing doubts about the science. Blackburn’s whole premise was based on doubt. She doubted Nye’s qualifications, the science of climate change, and whether the policies to combat climate change would work.
Blackburn knew that Nye had the facts on his side, so she tried to discredit him right off the bat, “I think Bill would probably agree with this, neither he or I am a climate scientist. He is an engineer and actor. I am a member of Congress.”
Nye kept calling her out for trying to introduce doubt. Nye said, “Gotta say once again, what people are doing is introducing the idea that scientific uncertainty in this case about what we call cold weather events in what we call back East is the same as uncertainty about the whole idea of climate change, and this is unscientific. It’s not logical. It is a way apparently that the fossil fuel industry has dealt with our politics, and this is not good. You don’t need a PhD in climate science to understand what’s going on. That we have overwhelming evidence that climate is changing. That you can not tie any one event to that is not the same as doubt about the whole thing.”
Blackburn made the mistake of saying that the Earth’s temperature change wasn’t significant, and Nye pounced. He said, “When you said, you asserted congresswoman that a change from 320 to 400 parts per million is insignificant. My goodness, that’s thirty percent. That’s an enormous change, and it’s changing the world…There is no debate in the scientific community, and I encourage the congresswoman to look at the facts. You are a leader. We need you to change things, not deny what’s happening. This weather event’s important.”
The Science Guy even played the patriotism card, and said that he was a patriot who wanted to lead the world in climate change technology. Nye said, “The more we mess around with this denial. The less we get done.” Blackburn stuck to the denier talking points and introduced nothing to the debate.
This wasn’t a debate. It was a pummeling. Rep. Blackburn willfully knows nothing about the science of climate change. Her goal was to discredit the science, which she failed to do. Blackburn should have a Koch logo on her forehead because everything she said came directly from the energy industry’s talking points.
The science is overwhelming, and the fossil fuel energy industry is trying to head off the inevitable. Republicans have their talking points that are designed to cast doubt on the science, but the real proof is on our changing climate. This debate illustrates what the Republican Party’s virulent strain of anti-intellectualism is doing to it. They are no longer a credible political party. They are behaving like a cult of believers who are rejecting the reality of the world around them.
This is why it is dangerous to give the Republican Party in its current state any kind of responsibility or power. Empowered Republicans are not only a threat to America, but they imperil the future of our planet through their climate change denial.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor, who is White House Press Pool, and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association